'Deadpool 2's Terry Crews Talks Bedlam and X-Force: 'We're the Anti-Avengers'

Deadpool 2 is slated to be one of the biggest movies of the summer. The sequel to 2016's R-rated superhero hit aims to deliver more jokes, more action and more obscure mutants from Marvel Comics to the big screen.

One of those mutants is Bedlam, played by Terry Crews, who Deadpool recruits to his X-Force team to thwart Cable's plans. Bedlam may not be a household name, but Crews is. His work on Everybody Hates Chris, The Expendables and Brooklyn Nine Nine, has garnered the actor a massive following.

Newsweek caught up with Crews to talk about his character in Deadpool 2, how he prepares for action roles and finally being cast in a superhero movie.

Editor's note: this interview has been lightly edited for length and clarity.

What does it feel like to play a superhero? What was your reaction when you got the part?

My God, why did it take so long?! [Laughs] I've been trying to be a part of the superhero/comic book world. I'm a big nerd, I'm a huge fanboy, and it had to be the right thing. In the past there weren't that many black characters, it just wasn't that way. A lot of the time, people were "we should put you in there," and you always get fan-casted, or things wouldn't work out. You wonder if you'll ever get a shot. And then Ryan Reynolds calls me and lets me be in one of the big, hot franchises of all time. And I feel like it's right, I feel like everything I've done up to this point has led me to this point, was for this moment, and it feels really good. Damn good if I do say so myself. [Laughs]

deadpool 2-bedlam-1024x576
Terry Crews plays the mutant Bedlam in 'Deadpool 2' FOX

Being that this is an action role and physical training is required, how does the way you prepare for this role compare to what you're used to?

I always stay in shape. I have never really had to spend six months to get ready for this thing. I'd end up looking the same, because I do the same things everyday. A lot of times, though, if different roles want to change how I look, they actually add things. If they want to add a belly and make me look a little more normal-looking. A guy who has been good-living, they'll add pads to you. Especially with period stuff, they weren't looking like me back in the day. With [ Deadpool 2 ] it was perfect. I always stay ready, which to be honest, has been a big part of my career and why I have been able to take advantage of a lot of opportunities. For me, just don't think it's not going to happen, just prepare for it to happen.

What intrigued you the most about Bedlam? Are there any characteristics of Bedlam you identify with?

What I love about Bedlam is that he can control these electromagnetic forces. He can give you headaches, he can control lights and different things. But the thing is, his superpowers aren't really that good. Like, he might be able to short circuit Iron Man's outfit, but that's about it. He ain't going to stop any trains, he's not going to fly. This is the thing that I love about Deadpool. He's created this ragtag group of guys that he's going to go in and do battle with that could never be in the X-Men. Their superpowers are semi-super [laughs] and they got all these issues. We have this one character that throws up acid vomit, and it's just not really cool. And there's this one guy who just showed up and, yea, now you're a superhero. That's what I love about the whole concept, it turns the whole thing on its ear. We're the Anti-Avengers.

deadpool-2-peter-parachute
Peter joins X-Force in 'Deadpool 2' but he doesn't have any powers FOX

WIth the success of Black Panther, as a superhero of color, do you think your on-screen portrayal of Bedlam will help pave the way for other successful heroes of color?

I think after Black Panther you're going to see a lot more characters of different races, different colors, different persuasions. It's going to be incredible, because what we're really discovering is that if you include more people, you double your money. There was a time where people felt if you include all these people you'll put Superman down. You know Spider-Man, I don't want to watch that anymore, I'm going to stay over here. But no, what happens is it becomes more inclusive. It's a lot like with movie theaters when TVs were created. People thought it would be the end of movie theaters, and what they found out was that people are watching at home and they're going to the movies. So these things need to be challenged. We need more Indian characters we need more Asian superheroes, more Hispanic and Black superheroes. You can include them all—and let me tell you something, we will buy them all. That's what we just found out. But we have to tell ourselves, if you do this it will be fine. I love being a part of this movement, with the success of Black Panther, Get Out, Sorry to Bother You, which I'm in. It's a great movement towards movies that look like you. It sounds good, feels good and I'm ready.

Deadpool 2 hits theaters May 18